Knitting on the Summer Side

 

How does the garden grow - right now - like crazy!

How does the garden grow – right now – like crazy!

Love the honeysuckle - every year the vine grows more and more blooms.

Love the honeysuckle – every year the vine grows more and more blooms.

I know it is not Officially Summer yet, but my garden doesn’t believe it, everything is blooming early!  The weather has been so warm.  Monday evening it was too hot to knit!  I mean – that hardly ever happens!  So it is Unofficially Summer!

Last week I was off of work and so had some time to knit and walk and generally do as little real work as I could get away with!

Sophie on the Beach and loving it!

Sophie on the Beach and loving it!

Perfect travel knitting for the car - I had the lace and bead section done so all I had to do was go round and round - River Queen sample for the store.

Perfect travel knitting for the car – I had the lace and bead section done so all I had to do was go round and round – River Queen sample for the store.

The highlight of the week was a trip over to the West Coast and a stay at Ucluelet.  As we drove up and over the Island mountains I worked on the store sample of River Queen – perfect knitting for the trip.

I love the beaches and walks around and through the Pacific Rim.  Sophie, Tom and I had a great time walking and exploring the area – revisiting our favorite haunts and discovering new ones.

Strawberry Rhubarb pie

Strawberry Rhubarb pie

Last weekend I did a little baking – some strawberry rhubarb pie.  It was the second pick of rhubarb from the garden – after a slow start this year the rhubarb is starting to look a little better!

Merry Mantle for me!  I call this one the Bordello Mantle!

Merry Mantle for me! I call this one the Bordello Mantle!

Have you been knitting or has it been too hot where you are?  Thank-fully it was too hot for only that one night and my knitting is back on track.

After I finished knitting up and writing the pattern for Merry Mantle I decided that I needed one for myself – and as I had some gorgeous new yarn from the Buffalo Wool Co – Sexy with a Silver Lining – I set to work.  I am over 60% done.  I do like the Sexy base – strong, light and soft.

BuffBoo - look at those colours!

BuffBoo – look at those colours!

This last week I received a few hanks of the newest yarn from the Buffalo Wool Co.  This one is the Sexy mix, with a strand of bamboo twisted in – making the blend roughly 34% bison, 33% silk, and 33% bamboo.  They are calling the yarn BuffBoo and this is a lovely soft light fingering with a high sheen.  The twist of bamboo shows up almost like a tweed  through the yarn.  Gorgeous colours and lovely hand – I am already working up a pattern in my mind!

DewMoth with the edging.

DewMoth with the edging.

I also finished DewMoth during my week off.  It just needed the Beaded Crochet Edging applied over the lace edging.  I though that it turned out well.

River Queen and DewMoth are the class projects this summer at Mad About Ewe.  The Summer schedule is up on the Mad About Ewe website.  If you get a chance check out our Summer Activities.

Year of Making Squares to date.

Year of Making Squares to date.

 

 

The Year of Making project is moving along and the selection of squares is steadily growing.  I have added two more squares this month!  I hope that you are enjoying you are enjoying your making this year.

Happy Knitting

Lynette

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Big Trees – Meares Island Walk

The Trees were immense.  They grey from the ground, up from each other and towered above us the whole walk.  Incredible peace and energy in these trees.

The Trees were immense. They grey from the ground, up from each other and towered above us the whole walk. Incredible peace and energy in these trees.

Sunset from our Deck.

Sunset from our Deck.

Last week Tom and I spent a couple of days on the West Coast of the Island.  We stayed in Ucluelet at the Terrace Beach Resort in the “Morning Mist” Cabin – overlooking the Beach!

This cabin was our base of operations. From there we travelled up and down Long Beach, Pacific Rim Park.  We revisited a few of our favorite places, Shore Pine Bog and Florencia Beach, formerly Wreck Beach and Wickinninish Beach.  But we did find a new place, one that Beth recommended – Meares Island, once in danger of being logged, now a protected site and home to some of the oldest trees on the West Coast.

The Big Tree Walk is all cedar boardwalk - sometimes a little worn and slippery!  But beautiful!  A very clear path to follow.

The Big Tree Walk is all cedar boardwalk – sometimes a little worn and slippery! But beautiful! A very clear path to follow.

Wooden Railings built by a realist with the heart of an artist - real world art.

Wooden Railings built by a realist with the heart of an artist – real world art.

New section of boardwalk - shiny unworn cedar - hand hewn and rough.

New section of boardwalk – shiny unworn cedar – hand hewn and rough.

We did a great deal of walking over the two days that we were on the West Coast.  I took a few too many pictures of everything.  The highlight was definitely the walk on Meares Island – the Big Tree Walk.

The walk starts with a water taxi trip from Tofino.  You book the taxi ahead of time and once at Meares Island you set a time with the company to come back and retrieve you!  The walk is not too long about 20 to 30 min in and the same back.  Give yourself extra time to gawk, take pictures, hug trees and other wise immerse yourself in the experience.

One of the views as you cross over to Meares Island

One of the views as you cross over to Meares Island

Welcome to the Big Trees.

Welcome to the Big Trees.

Boardwalk inland.

Boardwalk inland.

This walk is any easy walk – it is well marked – you just stay on the boardwalk!  The boardwalk is made from hand-hewn Cedar – split from fallen trees and left rough to keep it from being as slippery as it could have been in the wet, humid atmosphere that is the forest floor of the West Coast Rain Forest!

A lot of time is spent looking up to the forest canopy above us!

A lot of time is spent looking up to the forest canopy above us!

Every effort has been made to make this walk safe; extra treads on the boards in sloping area’s of the path, stairs with beautiful, rustic wooden railings; or rope guides to keep you from slipping.  Parts of the boardwalk are old with missing boards or holes in boards.  You can see where repairs have been made or are in the process of being made.  Like the forest itself this path is evolving – falling back to the ground and being built up from the ground.

There is growth everywhere - old root balls harbour small forests of ferns and salal.

There is growth everywhere – old root balls harbour small forests of ferns and salal.

Creating the new boards for the boardwalk - wind blown falls of old cedar.

Creating the new boards for the boardwalk – wind blown falls of old cedar.

Off to the sides of the path were work area’s where the new boards for the walk were being made.  Downed trees were being sliced into boards and then split by hand for the new walkways.  These logs were two to three feet in diameter – huge old trees.  Cedar is full of natural preservatives that help it stay together even after it hits the ground.  They can last over 100 years before they start to break down and back to the earth.  The First Nations in this area of the world call the Cedar the Tree of Live itself.

Looking down the sloping boardwalk to a "small" tree.  There is a small stream that runs under the roots of this tree.

Looking down the sloping boardwalk to a “small” tree. There is a small stream that runs under the roots of this tree.

Simply Breathtaking.

Simply Breathtaking.

There were a few trees in particular that we stopped and gasped and just stood in awe.  These trees were amazing –  the smallest trunk was about ten feet in diameter and the largest about twenty feet.  Three trees stood out for me, and for most of us on the walk.  These three trees were all Western Red Cedar.

These trees harboured growth everywhere.

These trees harboured growth everywhere.

Inside the "Small" Tree.

Inside the “Small” Tree.

The smallest tree was hollow on the inside.  A large hollow – big enough for Tom to stand up in!  This, we were told, is common in the Western Red Cedar – which makes it hard to tell it’s age as many of the rings are missing and a best guess method needs to be used.  These trees are old though – you can feel the age.  Some of the trees on the walk are named.  Some of these names are first nation and some were English.  This “small” tree had a first nations name.

"Tree of Life" - 15 feet across at the base and towering high above the forest floor.  Candace posed for size reference.  We all got cricks trying to see the top!

“Tree of Life” – 15 feet across at the base and towering high above the forest floor. Candace posed for size reference. We all got cricks trying to see the top!

And up and up it went!

And up and up it went!

Tangles at the top.

Tangles at the top.

The  middle size tree was about fifteen feet in diameter.  It’s age was put at about 1000 years.  It was called the Tree of Life.  The immensity of the trunk at the base – it was mind boggling – it reminded me of how small we are and of how ethereal our lives are in comparison with the immensity of time this tree had been standing.

Now abandoned viewpoint for the Hanging Garden.

Now abandoned viewpoint for the Hanging Garden.

The Hanging Garden - it was hard to get perspective.  No place, no clearing big enough to back off far enough.

The Hanging Garden – it was hard to get perspective. No place, no clearing big enough to back off far enough.

The tree that caught my imagination though was the tree at the end of the walkway.  It is calling the Hanging Garden.  It’s trunk was about twenty feet in diameter, but shattered in a couple of places.  But the tree still grew.  And from it at various levels grew other plants, draping and cascading down it’s trunk – truly a garden of life encapsulated in this amazing trunk.  The estimated age for this tree was about 1500 years.  It’s life was shown in the trunk – how it had broken but still kept growing – AMAZING!

Looking up into the top of the tree - shattered growth and multiple growing surfaces.

Looking up into the top of the tree – shattered growth and multiple growing surfaces.

Contemplative Bench.

Contemplative Bench.

We walked around the tree and gazed at the growth.  There was a rustic bench set to one side and an old boardwalk that went to a view point for the garden.  This tree had been appreciated by many over the years!  We were just a few more.

We walked quietly back to the shoreline and waited for our taxi.  We were all amazed and awed by what we had seen.

A shelf of Trees over the water creates shade and shelter!

A shelf of Trees over the water creates shade and shelter!

As we headed back to Tofino.  We passed by Islands where the trees leaned out over the water and created shelters and hollows.  Another small island was home to an Eagles Nest and First Nations Ancestors.  This area of the Island has been witness to a great deal of Man’s life.

Happy Walking

Lynette

 

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Wild Rose Season!

Roses and Bee's everywhere.

Roses and Bee’s everywhere.

Last Weekend and again this weekend I have been bowled over by the Wild Roses.

Branches are laden with blooms.

Branches are laden with blooms.

The Roses are blooming in all of the parks and blooming heavily.  The bushes are covered in open blooms and there are still a great many buds just waiting to open.  Their scent lays heavy in the air and wafts around in the eddies created by the lazy breezes.

The drone of the bees is a constant background sound around the bushes right now.  I have seen more honey bee’s heavily laden with pollen this year than in any past year.

Sweat Bee.

Sweat Bee.

Have you ever seen or heard of a “sweat bee”?!  I hadn’t!  Well not until last weekend – when I saw this gorgeous, iridescent green bee in the bowl of the rose!  I took a picture and did some research!  These bees are called sweat bees because they are also attracted to salt!

Do you know what kind of flower this is?

Do you know what kind of flower this is?

There have been some other wonderful sights as well.  Other wild flowers, the lowly daisy, a wild tiger lily and a gorgeous purple flower – name unknown, but not a Camas lily; The Indian Plums are ripening, small purple and red shots of colour amongst the green trees and bushes that line some of the paths; Beach Inukshuks at Piper’s – a circle of eleven carefully balanced rock figures; gulls at lunch and fresh green leaves highlighted by the Spring sunshine.

Beach Inuckshuks

Beach Inuckshuks

Indian plums are ripening on the bushes - adding rich colour to our surroundings.

Indian plums are ripening on the bushes – adding rich colour to our surroundings.

On all of the walks there were birds singing their hearts out – song sparrows, red winged blackbirds, and robins everywhere!

I hope that you get a chance to get out and walk through a park or two in the next week, before the Wild Rose blooms are finished!

Happy Viewing

Lynette

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Merry Mantle

IMG_2684 (683x1024)The Mystery Class was a great hit on Thursday.  The weather co-operated and was sunny but not burning hot!

We all had a great time – everyone got the techniques and left happy with their individual progress.  I love the Summer Classes in the Courtyard – such a pleasant place to teach and learn in.

What was the Mystery?  The project was unknown to the students until the class started – the students just knew what yarn, beads and needles to bring – and you know – no one was disappointed!  At least I think that no one was disappointed!  LOL!

Merry Mantle - knit with Sweet Georgia Glitterati!

Merry Mantle – knit with Sweet Georgia Glitterati!

Gracefully draping folds accented with a bright pop of lace edging.

Gracefully draping folds accented with a bright pop of lace edging.

Meet Merry Mantle – a short-rowed capelet/poncho with lace and bead accents!  Our versions were knit with the Graduated yarn kits put together by Sweet Georgia – the Party of Five kits in Glitterati Sock or Cashlux fine or Frabjous Fibers Cheshire Cat mini skien packs.  This versatile pattern could be knit with any combination of 4-ply sock or fingering yarns.

A mantle is a small shoulder covering – just enough to cover the shoulders and the arms to the elbow.

The Merry Mantle is knit from side to side in garter stitch and the shaping is constructed with short-rows. The colours are striped through the short-row pattern.

The view straight on

The view straight on

The bottom section has an open lace beaded pattern and the edge is finished with a contrasting beaded lace edging. The beads are always optional. The mantle is closed with a heavy cord lacing that is simply pushed through the weave of the knitting.

Until June 15th – this pattern will be available on Ravelry at 25% off of the purchase price of $5.00 – just type in the code Merry Making!  And the pattern will be yours for only $3.75!

I hope that you like it!

Happy Knitting

Lynette

The students colour options

The students colour options

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Anticipation

Swan Hollow Studio - silk with filament.  Sheila and Michael Ernst Button and Needles.

Swan Hollow Studio – silk with filament. Sheila and Michael Ernst Button and Needles.

Forbidden Sweater - how could I resist the name of the colour!

Forbidden Sweater – how could I resist the name of the colour!

A box from Buffalo Wool Co arrived yesterday.  This was a special box – well they are all special – but this box held the goodies that I purchased at Stitches South!  It felt like the box took forever!

I love the anticipation of the arrival… the waiting… will the contents be as good as I remember… will the colours as deep or the yarn as soft!  Am I still in love with what I saw and purchased.  The answer is YES!

While I was at Stitches and visiting with Ron and Theresa – I got the chance to pick some colours of Sexy and the Sexy with a Silver Lining – you see I have this idea for a sweater!  The colour is called Forbidden – I do like the name and nothing should be “Forbidden”!  And well, you will have to wait and see what comes out of it!

Baby Makin' Blue - I am makin' a shawl!

Baby Makin’ Blue – I am makin’ a shawl!

I also picked a colour of Sexy for me.  It was love at first sight and has only gotten deeper with the separation – Baby Makin’ Blue.  I see a lace shawl here – one with beads and, and…. you will see!

Now for the Stitches project (no name as yet) – I only bought one yarn, but oh what a yarn.  100% silk, currently undyed, with a thin multi filament spun through the yarn.  This silk comes from Swan Hollow Studio – so many choices!  There is about 1000 yds – enough for a decent size shawl.  This is going to be a painted shawl.  I also purchased a hand crafted glass button from Sheila and Michael Ernst.  This button will be the colour inspiration for the painting of the shawl and the closure for the shawl!  I love multi purpose.

All the colours will be pulled from the button - inspiration in miniature!

All the colours will be pulled from the button – inspiration in miniature!

There is a lot of wait and see here – I will start soon!  Just as soon as I clear a few other things off of the needles – oh and the new needles (also from Sheila and Michael Ernst) should be just the right size for the painted silk shawl!

I collect wooden boxes – I have few (perspective is everything!  LOL!) in the house.  When I saw the Shaker Boxes at Stitches I just fell in love.  The ones I bought were small – the smallest that he makes, but I can add as time goes by!  The top box is only 3 inches wide and 1 inch high.

Only the start of the collection!

Only the start of the collection!

A beautiful profusion of blooms this year.

A beautiful profusion of blooms this year.

Anticipation does not just apply to knitting.  It can also be applied to the garden!  Our garden is a work in progress – when we found Sophie we had to fence the backyard and pulled most of the old plantings out and we have been rebuilding ever since.

We planted a clematis vine two years ago.  A beautiful purple/pink bloom was promised!  The first year – one bloom, the second year – one bloom – but this year 11 blooms and it finally looks like it might stay!  I was sure that it was dead and gone a couple of times!

Are you thinking about the Mystery Class May 28th - here is a little teaser!

Are you thinking about the Mystery Class May 28th – here is a little teaser!

I hope that you have a great long weekend!  Mine will be spent with either camera or knitting needles in hand!

Happy Knitting

Lynette

 

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Come Walk With Me…

Bee's are everywhere

Bee’s are everywhere

…. Under the Blooming Rhododendrons of The Hailey Rhododendron Garden at Bowen Park.  These are tall, mature trees and right now they are in full flower.  A few trees are finished and some trees are just starting but oh so many are in bloom!

The soft breeze carries the rich scent of the blooms and the drone of bees and clear birdsong fills the air.

Across the road is a meadow filled with wildflowers, in pinks, blues and yellows.  The meadow is bordered by Millstone River.  Right now the river is a softly moving stream – the booming roar of the winter waters a pleasant memory.

I hope that you enjoy the walk.

Lynette

Huge blooms dangle overhead.

Huge blooms dangle overhead.

 

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Spring At Piper’s Lagoon

Gorgeous Camas Lilies under the Oaks

Gorgeous Camas Lilies under the Oaks

Walking down the spit.

Walking down the spit.

Early Saturday morning, before we headed up to Campbell River for the Vancouver Island Fibre Fest, we stopped to walk Sophie at Piper’s Lagoon.  It was a glorious morning.

The sun was cascading across the Strait and a breeze was rippling across the tops of the new grasses as we walked down the spit, towards the Garry Oaks.  Deep purple Camas Lilies and yellow wildflowers were blooming in the grasses under the Garry Oaks and in the rock depressions above the stony beaches.  What a walk.

Birds were flitting across the tops of the grasses and serenading from the beach logs.  The air was filled with sound and movement and the world was sparkling with colour and light.  Such a way to start the day.

And the Lilies were blooming above our heads

And the Lilies were blooming above our heads

I hope that you enjoy it too!

Happy Walking

Lynette

Lilies and Light cascading down the hill.

Lilies and Light cascading down the hill.

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